Restoration of Roman frescoes, Pompeii

Restoration of Roman frescoes, Pompeii

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Restoration of Roman frescoes. Archaeologist inspecting a fresco in the Villa of the Mysteries in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, Italy. This is part of restoration work that will use lasers instead of mechanical or chemical cleaning. The laser vaporises dirt and protective layers left during previous restorations. The Villa of the Mysteries houses a number of large colourful frescoes that depict a woman undergoing an initiation rite. In the first century AD Pompeii was a flourishing coastal resort populated by wealthy Romans. It was decimated in AD 79 by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius that covered the city in wet ashes and cinders. Many buildings and other structures were well preserved and have been revealed by a series of excavations.

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